Rob Price
Gutbrain Records
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2021 September 13 • Monday

A certain very important Brooklyn resident has a first day of school in Manhattan today. And so what better way to mark the occasion than by making Fred Mollin's music for Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan the 691st Soundtrack of the Week?

First you'll hear a very '80s song, "The Darkest Side of the Night", back beat driven with lyrics like "The darkest side of the night / Burns like a fire / For the wasted lives / There's no way you can fight / Just show some respect / And try to survive".

Then there's some classic horror movie scoring, bells and percussion and keyboards and some wailing lines, repeating figures and bending tones in "The Story of Jason / Jason Resurrected / Impractical Joke".

Things get tenser and stabbier in "The End of Jimmy / Goodbye Suzi" (spoiler alert?) which concludes with some interesting, airy, almost all percussion music that builds to a climax.

The bells, long tones and studden stabs of music return in "The Ghost People / Jason on Board / Porthole Flashback". There are interesting variations in tone and density throughout and some of the score might remind you of the music for Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer.

"False Alarm / Sauna Death / Rennie Overboard" (spoiler alert?) is mostly more pensive while things get active again for "Mirror Flashback / Saynoara Tamara / To the Bridge, Masked Man".

"Discovering Dad / McCulloch Gets Angry / Dropping the Anchor / Eva Finds Tamara / Wayne's Demise / Wayne Fries" continues with the varied textures and use of space while suffering a bit from the limitations of synthesizer tones available.

A welcome surprise is what sounds like an actual acoustic harp starting out "Jason Kills Two / Flashback in the Cabin / In the Galley / Jump Ship". Also surprisingly, the cue finds a pretty cool groove at one point with the strings suggesting a lyrical melody on top.

Things calm down and get almost romantic for "In the Lifeboat / Arriving in New York / Jason Arrives in New York / Rennie's Abduction". At first. Then of course we get back into the horror tension zone.

Suspense and tension start out "Rennie and the Punks / Jason and the Punk / Jason and Julius / Heads Up, Julius", and eventually Harry Manfredini's classic "Jason" sting is referenced.

More lyrical passages alternating with explosions of musical dread constitute "Sean Finds Rennie / Freeze! / Police Car Adventure" while "After the Collision / Sink or Swim / Goodbye McCulloch" begins with a stirring valedictory feel while continuing with the same very effective musical ideas.

"Sean and Rennie / Jason Breaks It Up / Into the Subway / Subway Chase / Jason Fries" starts out with a love theme but... well you know what happens next.

Another love theme-sounding cue starts out "Safe at Last (Just Kidding) / Rennie and Sean See Jason / Jason and the Waitress / Down to the Sewer / Goodbye Sewer Worker" and it even has a bit of smooth saxophone playing. It won't last, of course.

The grand finale comes with the aggravated tension and violence of "Sewer Chase / Toxic Flood / The End of Jason".

The record also has a few more songs at the end.

Terry Crawford's "Broken Dream" is very '80s hard rock that you could imagine hearing in a gym.

"Livin' in the City" by King Lou is rap that goes for some of the sounds that made MC Hammer's "U Can't Touch This" a hit. It's not much of a song. "Livin' in the city ain't no big deal / You gotta have a heart made of US steel / If the crack don't get you then the hookers will / Livin' in the city ain't no big deal."

Then there's "J.J.'s Blues", a short blast of '80s guitar rock instrumental, followed by an instrumental version of "The Darkest Side of the Night".